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The Blind Mans Painting

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Art is the belief in the impossible, art is life. These were the testament of a young artist livelihood. He owned only the clothes in his back, a navy blue striped buttoned shirt, a badge khaki jean which was always ironed and clean, and a pair of dark brown travel boots this were the only possession he had purchased after leaving his parents’ house, on the eve to legally coming of age. Not even a paint brush, though renowned as a painter in the society, nothing else. He forged a life through painting artistic pieces for free, or that is what he believed. This young man feasted what he could feast, bathed where he could bathe, and dreamed where he could dream. He cherished every day he breathed, everything he had, everything he did, and everyone he met. This man traveled the world, met the world, and dreamt of the world, he was the world, but this was not impossible.

The artist considered everything as an idea, a picture on the wall, saw everything as brilliant shapes, contained lines, all beginning with a dot. Everything was scrambled data building a foundation blocks to procreate art. He saw everything in its simplest form, from the Everest Mountain to the smallest creature in the sea. This is how he portrayed his art.

He believed life was all in the senses: smell, a gasp of clean air, sound the whispering splashes of rain drop striking the muddy road, taste the sweetness and quenching, satisfaction of  a glass of water, touch the warmth of a mothers hug, and sight, the completion of the package, its beauty. Thus he woke up to one routine, always appreciating taking in a deep breath, humming blissfully with the birds whilst having his bathe, enjoying quietly a hot cup of milk, then busking in the rays of the hot morning sun while contracting his eyes into heavens, this made him simple, feeling at peace with the world, but this was not impossible.

Summoned by kings, queens, elites, presidents, cities, anyone who could appreciate his art. He drew sketched, painted, birds, trees, faces, scenes, houses, and dreams. He made everything into reality by the stroke of his brush. His skill could capture any memories on his canvas, immortalizing it, offering them entitlement, so they could live forever. He was best known for painting of the solar eclipse, its greatness was capturing a few seconds of darkness almost succeeding light, which was displayed on one of the greatest palaces on earth, but still this was not impossible.

His style of painting set him aside from the rest of the artist. It opened up the doors to the universe, he dined with millions, he was welcome as a guest in the all compounds, all the cities, all over the world. One would just have to request for a painting, he would comply or deny on the spot but once he took on the task, he surrendered to his simple measures in order to produce a grandness, a piece of art that jammed in his mind. That is all he wished for, not pennies, not glory, just the image imprinted in his mind.

During a painting, the young man would set up a studio on his clients house, ask for a decent meal with the client for a night, and whilst eating and drinking he would then inquire for description of his latest project. A tree in the city park the client may be request.

In the morning the man would take a cloth, blind fold himself to darkness, and ask to be directed to the said tree. He would then fill up the tree from the bark to the leaves to the ground. He would place himself under the tree, take a deep breath and capture the scent of the scene. After examining the tree he would head to the town and observe its people, listen to their ways of lively hood. Drink with them and make merry till first light. After which he would instruct the client to send for brushes, oils, paints and canvases, and with no visual image of the said tree, lock himself in the studio for four days, with his meals being left by the door of the studio.

Once complete he would eject from his studio with multiple pieces, each telling a unique tale. He would portrayed little children in the township dancing and playing around the tree on a  Sunny Saturday afternoon, mischievous boys fighting with made up swords from the branches of the tree. Two lovers sited on a mat, gracefully enjoying a picnic to the music of the birds under the tree and the client gracefully tending to the tree’s roots, trimming its branches, collecting its dead leaves.

He then took a walk to the said tree, gazed at it, confirm his excellence in replicating the tree from its height, rough bark, green leaves and sweet red apples fallen just right under, onto the well cut grass rooting the tree, and just from his imagination. He believed that trees may live forever but its beauty was in people lives around the tree and he captured it so well, leaving his art behind for the town to enjoy, but still this was not impossible.

The blinds man paintings they called it, rumored in every village, township and city, the man who painted memories from darkness was his fable, Asking for no price for the painting, searching for no position in the society and avoiding any glory for his works. He yearned for just a mental picture, a stored memory, doing the painting was an honor to him, a sweet memory he would carry to his dreams at night and recollect by himself when unoccupied, engraved in his mind.

It was that simple he believed.

For a man who traveled the world, slept on king’s mattresses, swam on the depths of waterfalls and climbed the top of mountain, known to the world as the blind Artist, two words cherished amongst millions of people, though this was not impossible.

Bestowed the title of a god of art, the teller of dreams, the memory keeper, the artist had forgotten the initial necessity of life, its key fundamentals. Time spent moving was erasing his one rule he lived by; Art is the belief in the impossible, art is life. He had made paintings from dreams, memories, past stories and recollection, but he had not painted something he could say he owned, something he could touch, smell, taste, hear and see as his own. Some believed that is why he did not charge for his work. He always believed he would be graced with one final painting, one that will resemble life in its purest form, one that belong to the universe, conceived by mother earth, never to be erased, forgotten, immortal, inspired by the gods. He would conceive life.

He set on a journey to discover life, passing through town and cities, searching for the impossible, magnificent the end to his mental collection. he painted birds, drew whole towns, babies, sunsets and sunrise, he carved all manner of sculptures. He summoned all his senses, and used all his creativity. Bringing rise to new inventions, gadgets not before seen by man, drew up new structures, palaces, streets, towns, but for the first time he saw the impossible.

It began to overwhelm him, hinder in his mind, his hands would shake in despair, disorient himself from the reality, consumed by the notion of the unknown. He could not grasp the unattainable that his body started to fail, no longer could he paint or travel the world, till one day, found passed out by the lonely tavern in the small village, he was admitted to a hospital bed spending from day to night, displaced from what he perceived was life. A young man was he not, seen the world had he not, became the world or so it seemed.

For the first time he had no brush in his hand, no paint in his cheeks, no canvas in his laps. He went back to being a man, he had fallen from the heaven he had set refuge in, just like Icarus plight to touch the sun. Left with memories he had held dearest at some time of his life. He was depressed, crushed by the thing he held to heart.

Time passed lying on his hospital bed and his beliefs started vanishing from him more and more. He began to despise his life’s work, regret his cherished moments. A man like him could not fail, he desired just once to glimpse on one of his dear paintings, refresh the chilling scent of mountain ice, remember the rumbling sound of the earth, and taste the sweetness of revitalizing milk. Stretch out his hand onto the falling sun and for once grip the sun with his fist, clench and release, things he knew as simple. The artist had engraved himself in the households of millions but to what end.

He finally succumbed, raised his white flag to the cause. Defeated by the testament he once swore to. Life could not be painted nor molded and this was his melting wing, plunging into the underworld, The end of the blind Artist. Reborn from the river of hades, the spikes had struck of all his abilities, turning him into a normal man.

Life had a way of turning things around and his obsession became a faded dream. He chose to live like a man not a god. He started to recover from his ailment, beginning to interact with his surroundings. Engaging in communication not capturing it, opening up to the people around him, making friends in the whole ward. He became known, and not known off, they knew his name, where he was from and what he loved and also learnt from them, understanding what they embraced, appreciated, cherished and loved.  He learned to put the unnecessary behind and look towards the future, creating something to look forward to, ambition. He now cherished people and appreciated them. Without knowing it, he began to paint the impossible, he was painting life.

One fine day a lady passed by his hospital bed whilst visiting her friend, and noticed him lying on his back using the sealing as his canvas his index finger as his brush and his mind as the paint, drawing the sun, clouds and mountains. Fascinated with the man’s movement, she approached him and enquired on what he was drawing; they sat there and talked halting the hands of time. He told her of the world he had seen, the different types of people he had met, his endeavors, while she told him of her dreams and achievements, her past, her family, her work, her friends, and her life. He sat there amazed and in bliss. Every word that came from her mouth, every laughter, how she smiled as he told her of his life sparking a new sense in his body. A sense that overwhelm the rest of the senses into restlessness, a sense that took a firm grip of his heart, he felt both joy and pain, he felt confusion and understanding, he felt fear and strength, whilst time was passing like a water, the fine day’s sand clock had emptied, it was soon over, with her having to leave his bed side.

The artist went back to painting on the sealing trying to discover his new sense, his new ability of fire and ice, sun and moon, light, but this time it was different, he was not painting a recollection or memory. He did not need a blind fold in order to capture the moment. He was painting a story with neither beginning nor no end; he was painting the past, the present, and the future. He started to apprehend the impossible. He was molding the impossible.

He recalled his mother face, fascinated by how it remained the same from when he born to now, he only remember one face she wore, all through his memories with her. It never seem to change even though she grew old as he did, he could still spot her out even if they departed for a 1000 years. He thought of his father, how he grew up to resemble him, his height, his beard, his voice his entire likeness. He began to sketch the lady beautiful eyes, the way her dimples formed when she smiled, her body gracefully sited on his side of the bed. He painted her past; envisioning her as child enjoying the things she liked best. He painted her sited by his side, chatting till late in the night. He drew her future with him by her side.

He went back to his first town he had visited beyond home, recollecting how they praised him. He thought of the millions of kids he met in endeavors, thinking on how two lovers came together and conceiving  unique pieces of art, while still being a duplication of both them. He dreamt of the passing of days, some sunny, some raining, some cold, some hot, some dull and some exciting. As he drew, it came to him he had finally know how to paint art, one that he could own, both appreciated and cherish, but he still felt amiss, that could not be it, no one could paint art, for art is the magic of two opposite beings from different places and worlds, arts is craft used to assemble an atmosphere for them to mingle, interact and meet, from as simple as the side of a hospital bed, a night under the disco ball or a slight hand greeting in a coffee shop. Art is what makes them fall in love and come together as one, creating another beautiful piece of art to continue the cycle. It is something worth living, fighting for and dying for.

Art is that one picture captured at the moment when the mouth dislodges to produce a smile and also its the infinite shots of pictures, assembling together to form a film of endless emotions, bliss and sorrows, success and struggles, dreams and reality, heading back to that one picture captured, a flashback of pleasure whilst staring at your last moments on this earth passing on your memories to the new generation. How you first met, when you first kissed and fell in love, how you grew old together and made a family and how one day wrinkled and old, you kissed her goodnight for the last time and she left you by your side into the next world.

Art has neither a beginning nor an end. Art is immortal it and cannot be vanquished. Art is the belief in the impossible, art is life.

 

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